Category: Broadcast Radio

Guglielmo FM and DAB Receiver Software Updated to V0.4

Thank you to Marco Greco for writing in and noting that V0.4 of his Guglielmo software has recently been released.

Guglielmo is a Linux (and now Windows) based RTL-SDR FM and DAB tuner software that supports SDRs including the RTL-SDR, Airspy, SDRplay, HackRF and LimeSDR. It is designed to be an easy to use program designed for media users, rather than hobbyist technical users.

The latest additions in V0.4 include support for MPRIS controllers, support for the SDRplay V3 API and support for Windows building (although at this time there appears to be no binary file available).

The AppImage can be found here https://github.com/marcogrecopriolo/guglielmo/releases

Guglielmo: Screenshot of the DAB Interface

Using an SDR# Plugin to Tune into a Broadcast FM SCA Subcarrier (Radio Reading Service for the Blind)

Thank you to Double A again for submitting a new video where he shows how to use a new SDR# plugin called "SCATuner" to listen to an SCA audio subcarrier embedded within a broadcast FM signal.

SCA short for Subsidiary communications authority, is a separate audio channel hidden within a broadcast FM signal. SCA is typically used for niche radio programs, elevator music, music for doctors offices, and niche services such as reading for the visually impaired. In the past you needed a special hardware SCA radio to receive these channels, however receiving these channels with an SDR is relatively simple. Not all broadcast FM stations will have an SCA service, but the video shown below explains how to find one.

In previous posts Double A and others have shown how to receive these SCA Subcarriers using two instances of SDR#. However, this new plugin makes the task much simpler one click job.

Double A's video goes over how to install and use the plugin, explains SCA and demonstrates it in action decoding a radio reading service for the blind.

SDR# Plugin for Tuning an FM SCA Subcarrier (Radio Reading Service for the Blind) (with RTL-SDR USB)

Using an RTL-SDR to Decode Broadcast FM RDS Data on Android

Over on YouTube Double A Labs has posted a new video demonstrating how to use an RTL-SDR and Android device to receive broadcast FM stations, and to decode any associated RDS data. 

In the video Double A uses the SDR Touch Android app and the Advanced RDS function to show the RDS information. He goes on to explain the various pieces of information RDS data provides including clock time, active RDS groups and alternative frequencies.

Tune broadcast FM radio and decode Radio Data System (RDS) information using your Android phone and an RTL-SDR USB (see parts list below). RDS can include station identification, song name, the current time for a receiver to sync its clock, alternative frequencies the same program is on, and more!

Tuning FM Radio & Decoding RDS Data on ANDROID using RTL-SDR USB

DAB+ Decoder Welle.io Version 2.4 Released and YouTube Demonstration Video

Version 2.4 of the RTL-SDR compatible DAB/DAB+ decoder called welle.io has recently been released for download on GitHub. The main changes include various bug fixes, the addition of Windows 11 support, and the return of the Android APK (but only with rtl_tcp support).

The author has also released a new YouTube video tour, demonstrating the software in action, and explaining all the features.

Showing welle.io a SDR to listen DAB/DAB+.

Video Tutorial: Decoding HD Radio on Windows with nrsc5-gui

Thank you to "Double A" for submitting his video that shows how to install and run the RTL-SDR compatible HD Radio decoder nrsc5-gui on a Windows machine. We've posted about nrsc5-gui and the modified nrsc5-dui software in the past, however despite being Windows compatible, it has only been simple to run on Linux.

In his video Double A shows us how to download and extract the files, how to set up the Windows mingw environment which is required to run the software, and where to place a required dll file dependency. Finally he demonstrates the software in action, running on his Windows machine.

Decoding HD Radio on Windows with RTL-SDR USB

Guglielmo FM and DAB Receiver Software Updated to V0.3

Thank you to Marco Greco, author of Guglielmo for writing in and noting that v0.3 has now been released. Guglielmo is a Linux based RTL-SDR FM and DAB tuner software that supports SDRs including the RTL-SDR, Airspy, SDRplay, HackRF and LimeSDR. It is designed to be an easy to use program designed for media users, rather than hobbyist technical users. He notes:

In the last two releases I have substantially improved FM and RDS decoding and added support for MOT slides.

MOT slides allow DAB broadcasters to send JPEG or PNG images files over the DAB broadcast, and compatible receivers will display it.

A ready to use Appimage for Linux systems is availalble on the Github Releases page.

Guglielmo: Screenshot of the DAB Interface

SDRAngel Features Overview: ADS-B, APT, DVB-S, DAB+, AIS, VOR, APRS, and many more built-in apps

SDRAngel is a general purpose software defined radio program that is compatible with most SDRs including the RTL-SDR. We've posted about it several times before on the blog, however we did not realize how much progress has occurred with developing various built in plugins and decoders for it.

Thanks to Jon for writing in and sharing with us a demonstration video that the SDRAngel team have released on their YouTube channel. From the video we can see that SDRAngel now comes stock with a whole host of built in decoders and apps for various radio applications making it close to an all-in-one SDR platform. The built in applications include:

  • ADS-B Decoder: Decodes aircraft ADS-B data and plots aircraft positions on a map
  • NOAA APT Decoder: Decodes NOAA weather satellite images (in black and white only)
  • DVB-S: Decodes and plays Digital TV DVB-S and DVB-S2 video
  • AIS: Decodes marine AIS data and plots vessel positions on a map
  • VOR: Decodes VOR aircraft navigational beacons, and plots bearing lines on a map, allowing you to determine your receivers position.
  • DAB+: Decodes and plays DAB digital audio signals
  • Radio Astronomy Hydrogen Line: With an appropriate radio telescope connected to the SDR, integrates and displays the Hydrogen Line FFT with various settings, and a map of the galaxy showing where your dish is pointing. Can also control a dish rotator.
  • Radio Astronomy Solar Observations: Similar to the Hydrogen line app, allows you to make solar measurements.
  • Broadcast FM: Decoding and playback. Includes RDS decoding.
  • Noise Figure Measurements: Together with a noise source you can measure the noise figure of a SDR.
  • Airband Voice: Receive multiple Airband channels simultaneously
  • Graves Radar Tracker: For Europeans, track a satellite and watch for reflections in the spectrum from the French Graves space radar. 
  • Radio Clocks: Receive and decode accurate time from radio clocks such as MSF, DCF77, TDF and WWVB.
  • APRS: Decode APRS data, and plot APRS locations and moving APRS enabled vehicles on a map with speed plot.
  • Pagers: Decode POCSAG pagers
  • APRS/AX.25 Satellite: Decode APRS messages from the ISS and NO-84 satellites, via the built in decoder and satellite tracker.
  • Channel Analyzer: Analyze signals in the frequency and time domains
  • QSO Digital and Analog Voice: Decode digital and analog voice. Digital voice handled by the built in DSD demodulator, and includes DMR, dPMR and D-Star.
  • Beacons: Monitor propagation via amateur radio beacons, and plot them on a map.

We note that the video doesn't show the following additional features such as an analog TV decoder, the SDRAngel "ChirpChat" text mode, a FreeDV decoder and several other features.

Is the Titus II Portable Android Tablet Shortwave SDR Close to Release?

The PatronX Titus II SDR is something we've been posting about several times since 2016, but in the end it was never released and assumed to be vaporware. However, we found that the website for the Titus II SDR was updated only a few weeks ago, and pricing details have been added advertising $120 and $150 for two versions of the product. But on the new website there is no store, just an email link to contact sales for ordering information. We contacted that email two weeks ago for more information but have not received a reply back yet.

The PantronX Titus II was advertised to be a portable Android tablet based SDR that would feature a 100 kHz - 2 GHz tuning range, and software that focuses on HF digital DRM decoding, as well as DAB on VHF. Computer rendered images show the tablet housed in a portable carry enclosure with two speakers. Their new website writes:

The design of rTablet / rTab defined radio receiver started in 2014. It soon became evident that electronic products available on the market could not be modified to incorporate the advanced features requested by potential buyers. This initiated the process of the innovative design of the Titus SDR (Software Defined Radio) unit. The engineering team started with a general purpose computer unit and embedding it in a broadband radio receiver module.

All types of applications, including RF software, could be installed. For example, DRM capabilities could be added as DRM is an open source. Dream Linux app was converted to run under Android mobile operating system.

The Titus rTablet / rTab being introduced to the market, is a low cost, high performance platform with many RF and PC factory installed applications.

Key feature of rTablet / rTab is the compatibility with analog (SW, AM, FM) and digital standards (DRM, DRM+, DAB, DAB+, HD). Consequently the market of rTablet / rTab is global.

The updated website with pricing and an ordering email makes us think that it might be finally on the way, but the lack of email reply is concerning. If anyone has any further information about the rTab/Titus II please be sure to share with us in the comments!

Titus II SDR updated website
Titus II Specs